Microfinance Development: 2-Day Workshop For Financial Sector Development

12 July 2018

A two day workshop for Myanmar Financial Sector Development took place in Yangon on Thursday. 

The workshop aims to share best practices for sustainable development in the microfinance and insurance sectors.

According to the officials, there are 176 licensed Microfinance companies and institutions in Myanmar, which are local, foreign owned and joint-venture. At present, 3 million of the country’s population is receiving microfinance services.

The industry players feel positive on the current development, and pointed out the needs to strengthen the policies for further development.

CEO, Maha Agriculture Microfinance, Matteo Marinelli  said "...Right now, the microfinance sector continues to grow... The leading packs of MFI are around 25 players who account for 80% of the sectors... Smaller MFI need to grow in terms of equity, need to strengthen their procedures, their policies, need to hire professional staff..... There also need to contribute more paid up capital and equity in order to improve our overall sector. "

They also highlighted their challenges, and call for support from the officials.

Managing Director, Maha Agriculture Microfinance, Thaung Htike said “We are now focusing on the rural development, especially providing agriculture loans. But with the entry of foreign Microfinance Institutions, the industry becomes much more competitive for us. As a local MFI, there are many difficulties including access to finance, complicated process in getting proposal and others. And we, local MFI still can’t access loans from the foreign bank directly yet, while foreign MFI easily can.   We hope to see more officials’ assistance for the development of the local MFI, and digital microfinance in the future.”

Officials hope this two days workshop will bring great benefits for the industry, and also stressed to provide local MFIs for long term development.

Director, MOPF (Financial Regulatory Dept), Thant Zin said “Unlike others, we permitted 100% foreign ownership in Microfinance sector. But unequal capacity among the local and foreign microfinance institutions still challenge us. As a regulator, we are trying our best to support and assist the local for the further development.”

The workshop will run until Friday, and the discussions will be focused on the corporate governance, risk management, insurances and the supervision capacity of the regulators.